There’s a lot that contributes towards preparing for a chess tournament.

Your Openings

Evaluating your openings is a vital aspect of tournament preparation. This can be overdone, so here are just a couple of guidelines.

Review lines within your opening repertoire. There are several good tools for helping in this such as Chessable and Chess Position Trainer.  

As a great number of people are amateur chess players, it is recommended focusing on one response to every major opening. For instance, you do not need to learn both the Sicilian and French. Choose one and concentrate on it and then do this for each major junction in your opening repertoire.

Once you are within 30 – 60 days of the tournament, you shouldn’t be trying to learn a whole new system to play in the tournament. Your experience within the systems of your repertoire is as vital as the particular lines you play. Therefore, play what you know.

The only exception to the previous point is if you have an obvious hole in your repertoire. For instance, if you don’t have a system you are positive in against either 1.e4 or 1.d4, then you need to pick one and study it since most likely you will deal with it in one of your competitions.

Being self-assured with your opening repertoire will help you significantly in the tournament. Tournament time is not time to try new openings. 

Playing with a Purpose

Before the big event, you will most likely have numerous chances to play either online or over-the-board. Use this time to work on certain parts of your game that might necessitate some practice.

You should begin to notice a few habits that you may want to adjust in future games. It is recommended that you choose one or two of these facets and make them practice objectives for your non-tournament matches.

 

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